I don’t know what it is about Martinsville, but I feel like it rains every time the NASCAR train stops in town. Some level of racing always happens, but it seems that it’s very rare for the both the Trucks and Cup cars to get the whole weekend in without incident. Now, we are heading back in the morning to try and get the Cup race in (12PM EST), but according to Brian Neudorff (the unofficial Twitter NASCAR weatherman @NASCAR_WXMAN) the forecast for Monday doesn’t look good. And as we stare straight in the face of a possible second postponement, I want you to know that it doesn’t just suck for the fans.
As the crews walk out of the track after a postponed race, it’s hard not to feel really bad for the fans we pass by. They’ve usually been in the stands for hours, usually in the cold and wet, waiting and hoping for something to happen. And now, many won’t be able to return to the track on Monday, because the real world comes calling. For those that do get to stay, it means more money must be spent on food, lodging, parking, and all the other expenses associated with coming to a race. I just want you to know, we feel for you.
For the teams, besides trying to find ways to deal with the boredom while the track is being dried (I actually wrote a post about this a few years ago), rain delays can be detrimental to shop scheduling and car prep. The Cup teams have another big west coast swing coming up, and cars must be prepared for both trips. Even with an off weekend ahead, being at the track on Monday instead of being in the shop means crews are now behind. Any extra off days or small vacations will now probably not happen, as the teams will be scrambling to catch back up.
For the TV folks, the postponement now means ratings will stink. With most people who would normally be watching the race now probably at work on Monday afternoon, the number of folks who tune in will be drastically smaller. This will certainly be bad for those all important advertising dollars.
The rain also means lost revenue for the track itself. The crowd at the track today was no doubt smaller because of the threat of rain, and the stands certainly won’t be full tomorrow. This reduction in the crowd size will result in lower ticket, food, and merchandise sales.
So the next time you are bummed on a Sunday afternoon because the race was washed out, know you aren’t alone. Rain delays suck for everyone. Here’s to hoping the rain holds off tomorrow…